MASON DIXON: MONSTER HUNTER
A NEW NOVELLA SERIES FROM FALSTAFF BOOKS
“Out,” I said. “Get out of the pit. Safeties off.” I raised the stock to my shoulder and swept the area around us again.
Emma slipped and crashed into the pit, sending a cascade of stained white bones over the edge to clatter down into the limestone depression. We waited, and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding in my ears.
We both froze. I don’t care how many times you’ve encountered something in the wild, you still freeze for a split second.
“Move!” I hissed, backpedaling while keeping my tranquilizer aimed around Emma. She was almost out. We could get back on the ATVs and come back with bigger guns. 10cc darts? I should have brought the 50cc cannon. This was a mistake. The old man wasn’t crazy at all.
Boom. Boom. Boom. BoomBoomBoom.
The gowrow erupted from its lair like it had been spit forth by an angry god. Its stubby, bulbous body might have been humorous paired with its long scaly neck if not for the tusks fit for a mammoth gleaming in the dying sun. It would take that creature zero effort to kill us in one charge.
Its movements seemed awkward, but its attacks were practiced. The gowrow swiped at Emma with a four-toed webbed foot, a lethal claw extending from each digit. She fell backwards and rolled away, barely avoiding the attack.
Any doubt this gowrow was a maneater fled in a heartbeat.
I cranked the air pressure as high as it would go on the tranquilizer gun and fired. The dart rose slightly in a wind disturbance created by the massive creature and pinged harmlessly off the field of spiky scales lining its back. I cursed, flipped the butt of the rifle open, and loaded another dart.